Dear Commons Community,
During the past couple of days, there has been so much to blog about that I am not sure where to begin.
First, there was the Jeopardy duel with IBM’s new Watson computer. If you did not follow this, Watson crushed two all-time Jeopardy champions in a three-day trivia contest. However, in an Op-Ed piece to the NY Daily News yesterday, Ken Jennings one of the human contestants who lost to Watson, seemed to suggest that Watson had an unfair advantage due to the signaling button mechanism.
Second, for classical music lovers, a new opera, Anna Nicole, yes that Anna Nicole, opened at Covent Garden in London last night. The revue by Anthony Tommasini of the NY Times describes it as:
“An opera about Anna Nicole Smith–the American sex symbol, Playboy Playmate, hapless model, laughable actress and fortune-hunting wife of a billionaire 62 years her senior? …had its premiere here at the Royal Opera on Thursday night before a sold-out house with standees everywhere. And it proved a weirdly inspired work, an engrossing, outrageous, entertaining and, ultimately, deeply moving new opera. This was an improbable triumph for Covent Garden.” Well, Well, Cheerio!
Third, and on a more serious note, a developing story that has been under the news radar has been the ongoing student demonstrations at the University of Puerto Rico for the past year or so. The NY Times had an article covering this story indicating that these protests turned violent when police were called in to quell the demonstrations.
Lastly, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his “Good News” budget yesterday indicating that because of careful planning, a surge in business tax revenue and a record-breaking tourist season, New York City was going to be in fairly good fiscal shape for the coming year. However: “his fiscal plan would still eliminate more than 6,000 teaching positions… 100 centers for elderly people … 20 fire companies would close, and 17,000 slots for child care would vanish. One of the mayor’s signature efforts to combat homelessness, a rental-subsidy program that provides an incentive for the homeless to find a job, would be eliminated.” DUH!!!!